Keenum’s prognosis: ‘day-to-day’
When quarterback Case Keenum went down after attempting to stop UTEP corner Trauvan Nixon, the collective heart of Cougar Nation sank. After a minute, Keenum walked off the field looking dazed.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin said Keenum is doing better, and that his status would be monitored throughout the week.
“Most people saw that he was injured Friday night, and at that time was displaying symptoms of a mild concussion,” Sumlin said. “But since then his condition has improved dramatically. His prognosis for this week is day-to-day.”
After Friday’s 54-24 win, the Cougars rose to No. 23 in the Associated Press and the USA Today coaches’ poll. UH will head west for their first away game when they play UCLA this Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
The Cougars relied heavily on running backs Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes for their win against the Miners. Beall had 195 rushing yards, while Hayes added 77 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards.
The Cougars were nursing a 20-point lead when backup quarterback Cotton Turner came in. He received playing time in last weekend’s blowout against Texas State, which helped him respond against UTEP.
“We see the value of him playing the week before,” Sumlin said. “You never know when it’s going to be your time; it’s a lesson for all of our guys to prepare during the week, because you can move from a backup to a starter like that and be in a critical situation.”
The defense bent on UTEP’s first drive, giving up a touchdown, but never broke afterward. They held the Miners scoreless until the second quarter; by that time the Cougars had amassed a 10-point lead that wouldn’t be surrendered.